By Bob Baysinger
December 2, 2003
ROACH – Windermere Baptist Conference Center’s indebtedness increased more than $10 million during 2002, the first full year Windermere operated without a board of trustees approved by the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC).
Data from Windermere’s 2002 tax record reveals that the renegade MBC agency reported 2002 liabilities of $3,133,784. The 2002 IRS Form 990 shows Windermere with liabilities of $13,405.288 at the end of the reporting period.
Windermere is among five Missouri Baptist institutions where moderate trustees chose to distance the institutions from the MBC after elected conservatives won control of the convention from moderates. The trustees’ action triggered a legal battle with the MBC for control of the five agencies with assets said to total more than $200 million. The trustees initiated the battle when they voted to amend their charters, removing any accountability to MBC churches and making themselves the sole authority in naming their successors.
Windermere’s official break with the convention occurred in Aug., 2001. The Baptist retreat center ended 2001 with accounts payable and accrued expenses totaling $552,689. One year later – operated by a Board of Trustees not approved by the MBC – Windermere’s accounts payable and accrued expenses totaled $5.1 million.
Form 990 is for organizations exempt from paying federal income tax. The deadline to file the Form 990 was last April, but Windermere requested and received a deadline extension. Not-for-profit organizations are required to make their annual Form 990 available to the public.
Total 2002 income for Windermere was $3,093,788. Most of the income - $2,637,467 – resulted from fees charged for use of Windermere facilities. Another $239,904 was produced by gifts, grants and contributions.
Windermere’s 2002 report reveals that about $6 million of the increased indebtedness stems from mortgages Windermere has taken to finance a multi-million construction project.
Mortgages reported on the 2002 form included:
- First National Bank, Camdenton – $2,494,927 beginning balance; $2,996,606 ending balance.
- FirstStar Bank – $4,485,671.
- First National Bank, $500,000.
- U.S. Bank of America – $250,000.
These figures do not include the $18.75 million loan Windermere trustees signed for in 2003, using the buildings and 1,300-acres at Windermere as collateral.
The 2003 loan was originated by Allegiant Bank of St. Louis . It was announced Nov. 20 that Allegiant Bancorp has been acquired by National City Corp. of Cleveland .
Windermere reported that it spent $820,538 on management costs and other general expenses during 2003. Included in this amount is the $60,000 annual salary paid to Frank Shock, Windermere’s president.
Other expenses included a $50,400 payment for consulting services to RDI of Springfield. Jim Hill, former MBC executive director, serves as president/CEO for RDI.
Mike Whitehead, who heads the MBC legal team, described Windermere’s tax record as a financial report that “bleeds red ink."
“The income statement shows a net operating loss of $750,482," Whitehead said. “The 2002 balance sheet shows a huge increase in unpaid bills and mortgage debt. The breakaway board should have red faces of embarrassment about so much red ink of indebtedness. All of these numbers were before the Allegiant Bank line of credit of up to $18.75 million in mortgage debt."
Whitehead noted that Windermere began the year 2002 with accounts payable of $550,000 but ended the year with payables of $5.1 million.
“This was no doubt related to the mechanics liens on the construction work," Whitehead said. “The year 2002 began with $2.5 million in mortgage debt and ended with $8.2 million in mortgage debt. One might say that the prodigal is not faring well in the far country."